Here are 5 things the centenarian shared as her life lessons:
1. Honor The Golden Rule
Lewis’ mother, Mary Hazelett Long, left her mark by teaching her children that although they grew up in the deep south, discrimination would not be tolerated in their household.
“Her basic rule in our home was that she better not catch us saying or doing anything to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Lewis said. “Mom would say ‘other people have feelings just like you do. We won’t discriminate.’ We never crossed that line.”
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2. Appreciate the arts
Lewis enjoyed a career in radio and television that allowed her to meet and perform with entertainer Andy Griffith, acclaimed musician Henry Mancini and country music legends the Statler Brothers, among many others.
“I enjoyed singing and playing the piano,” she said with a smile. “I also wrote jingles for radio and made for about an hour’s work what would amount to $200.”
Shakespeare also made her list of loves.
“I wish for everybody to be familiar with him and enjoy his work. Shakespeare, along with the scriptures (from the Bible) are the two most worthy reading materials in history,” she said.
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3. Embrace technology
Lewis enjoys playing Scrabble, but you won’t see this grandmother of four only pulling out the board game version.
“I love scrabble and play it online and in person,” she said.
Her son, John Lewis, 57, of Hamilton, added, “She plays it online at midnight sometimes with people across the country. She loves modern technology and has an iPad and is on Facebook.”
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4. There’s value in faith and an education
“Scripture and faith in God,” are two of the most important things to Lewis, whose husband, Lou, 92, was a chaplain in the Navy.
“He knows what he’s doing and he knows why he put you here,” she said.
“Also, school, because I firmly believe in education,” she said.
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5. Keep your sense of wonder
After undergoing a heart valve replacement two years ago, Lewis said she is looking forward to seeing what modern technology has in store next.
“I may not be here to see it, but I wonder what robots will be doing 25 to 30 years from now,” she said with a laugh.